Event Title

A Libertarian Idea: Redistributive Taxation as a Violation of Property Rights

Presenter Information

Shizhe Hu, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 121

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 6:20 PM

Abstract

Theories about distributive justice mostly address two questions, whether and under what circumstances redistribution, namely the institutional rearrangement of wealth can be justified. This research aims to morally assess redistributive taxation, a system in which the state collects a part of the income of the well-to-do to help the relatively poor. In light of rights-oriented reasoning, I argue that there is a thing called property right which is negative and derivative. This right entails that other agents have a negative duty not to interfere with the disposition of the property that is rightfully owned by the right-bear. Since people share a property right to their pre-tax income, involuntary redistributive taxation is a violation of their property rights.

Keywords:

Political philosophy, Libertarianism, Taxation

Notes

Session VII, Panel 21 - Philosophical | Justice
Moderator: Todd Ganson, Professor of Philosophy

Major

Philosophy; History; Law & Society

Advisor(s)

Dorit Ganson, Philosophy

Project Mentor(s)

Todd Ganson, Philosophy

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Apr 27th, 5:00 PM Apr 27th, 6:20 PM

A Libertarian Idea: Redistributive Taxation as a Violation of Property Rights

King Building 121

Theories about distributive justice mostly address two questions, whether and under what circumstances redistribution, namely the institutional rearrangement of wealth can be justified. This research aims to morally assess redistributive taxation, a system in which the state collects a part of the income of the well-to-do to help the relatively poor. In light of rights-oriented reasoning, I argue that there is a thing called property right which is negative and derivative. This right entails that other agents have a negative duty not to interfere with the disposition of the property that is rightfully owned by the right-bear. Since people share a property right to their pre-tax income, involuntary redistributive taxation is a violation of their property rights.